returning

estimated 4 min read

not such a bad afternoonAs with many others I know, I was hit pretty hard last week with sinus torture. On Friday I finally gave in when I realized every task I undertook to complete needed at least three tries to do properly and quadruple my initial time estimate.

So I took a sick day, in theory. I’m not good at sick days.

Eventually Shadow and I curled up together in a comfy chair in the library and between naps I pulled out a knit I’ve ignored for almost a year that I keep meaning to work on.

Girasole is the house blanket that I started after we closed in August 2009. It is the first project to get put aside when another shiny knit pops up.

Only I would find lacey knitting enjoyable under the influence of a sinus headache. Because it’s a knit that’s mostly for me, I figured if I messed up it didn’t matter. (Note: I think I’ve only woven in the ends for my own socks once.)

I found this enjoyable to knit on Friday despite the sinus torture. My knit literacy has improved greatly — I was able to mostly ignore the chart and just knit what felt right and the fact that it is lacey knitting and not “true lace” gave me a rest rounds. On Sunday the blanket became daytime car knitting and I am now finished with Chart C! We’ll see if I continue working on this blanket with any regularity, I have several commissions to finish and there are thankfully always more babies to knit for.

In the past two years Jared Flood, the designer of Girasole has clarified and standardized the layout of his patterns and I was initially unsure if I liked all of the changes.

Change can be hard to accept.

I can say that today I like the changes, for the most part.

There is one change that bugs me, now all rounds are shown (erm, non-knitters I’m not sure if you’ll get anything out of the rest of this post). The edition of the chart I was working with from two years ago showed only the odd, or pattern rounds. The rest (stockinette) round was left out. I enjoyed that it saved space when printing the chart, I get tired of seeing blank stockinette rounds. The revised charts now show all rounds. All told, I don’t have strong preference one way or the other. To spin positive light on it, this redesign allows for my method of highlighting upon completion of each round to be more tidy, complete, and immediately satisfying.

I like the layout change for the charts. Most charts (as these were in the initial edition) are rectangles with a grey shaded border and non-stitches shown in grey, primarily at the edges/borders. Now the chart is shaped and non-stitches are shown in grey within the body of the chart. (er I’m not sure if I am explaining this well at all). The chart now looks better in black and white and it is easier to quickly look and tell that stitches change. At first I honestly didn’t care for this change, mostly because it looked different even if it made no difference when I knit. I continued using my old chart because it is full of notes and other scribblings and I didn’t feel like transferring them.

However, Sunday afternoon when we were out (reminder: I don’t drive) I was on the last round of chart C and I looked quickly at it to make sure I was doing the final repeats properly. In the tricky afternoon light I suddenly thought I had missed knitting several stitches per repeat for the last few rounds due to the traditional border shading on the old chart I was using. Yes, I was mistaken and had been reading and knitting correctly, but the light played tricks when paired with my grey-scale printed copy and my quick unfocused glance. Once I realized I was okay, in curiosity I pulled out the revised chart and found it much clearer to quickly glance at and that it did not attempt to mislead me.

Take away — change can be good and my chart formatting preferences have now changed. I like white space and borders and non-rectangular charts.

I think these revised charts will also scale better for my funky printing preferences and would display better on a range of screen sizes.

That said, I am trying to move away from physically printed patterns and juggling highlighters and to use electronic means for my pattern knitting. Yes, even though I advise others on technology I currently still turn to the old way, with which I am more comfortable first. I know there are other methods out there, but for me and my currently available tools, this works best.

If and when that changes I will be sure to write up my thoughts.